Central Tuscany: Best of Cortona

The “Inside Tuscany: A Second Time Around” Series


New Expanded and
Extensively Revised for 2016-2017

Cortona’s Offerings

The latest guidebook on Cortona invites you to spend a couple of days in Cortona to view its excellent churches and museums and to experience the rhythm of daily life. Founded by Noah after the ark sailed up the Tiber — if you believe the legends — it sits high on a steep hill that overlooks much of Tuscany’s Valdichiana from Lake Trasimeno in Umbria to the south to Civitella in the north.

You find information to:

  1. Bulletlearn about the art and sites of Cortona,

  2. Bulletdetermine mobility accessibility,

  3. Bulletuse GPS for navigating,

  4. Bulletcook from authentic recipes from my Italian family.

Among the sites covered in the book:

  1. BulletWatch the people from the Piazza Repubblica and the steps of the Palazzo Comunale.

  2. BulletVisit the Piazza Signorelli and the Teatro Signorelli.

  3. BulletLearn about the history of Cortona from the seventh century BC Etruscans to the ancient Romans to modern times at the Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città (MAEC). 

  4. BulletVisit an active Etruscan excavation at Melone Sodo II at the bottom of the Cortona hill.  

  5. BulletDelight in the small Museo Diocesano. This may be the best small museum in Tuscany with paintings by Luca Signorelli and other Renaissance masters and modern (17th-20th c.) works of art.  

Several interesting churches include:

  1. BulletDuomo di Santa Maria Assunta next to the Museo Diocesano.  

  2. Bullet    Chiesa di San Domenico and its magnificent altarpiece.

  3. BulletChiesa di San Francesco with relics of St. Francis.

  4. BulletTiny Chiesa di San Niccolò and the back-to-back Signorelli paintings.

  5. BulletSantuario di Santa Margherita. Venerate the incorrupt body of Santa Margherita near the top of the Cortona hill.

Bonus Materials:

  1. BulletAuthentic recipes from my Italian cousins 

  2. BulletGPS coordinates

  3. BulletTwo hotels

  4. BulletThree restaurants 

© 2015 Scott Grabinger

®Inside Tuscany, ®Second Time Around, and ®Inside Tuscany Tours are registered trademarks.

Reader Comments:

“Basic guide to a Tuscan City. I intend to take it with me when I go there. Very handy guide.”

“He takes you through lesser-known villages and churches in the same detail that the big commercial guides provide for the usual must-sees, so that you come to understand what a cultural wealth is to be found in even the most out-of-the-way places.”

To purchase, go to: amazon.com. Search for the title or the name: “Scott Tiezzi Grabinger”.

Purchase price is $6.99.

[Note: A few of the sites in this book can be found in the Valdichiana Hill Towns book, which covers several more towns in the entire valley.


Inside Tuscany Itineraries

For more information on Arezzo, itineraries, and traveling in Central Tuscany see